Does a low cost FPV/Aerial photography/long range kit exist?

Hello everyone!


My question is quite simple yet complex.  Does anyone have suggestions or ideas for a low cost reconnaissance drone build?

I have a budget of $800, a good amount of ingenuity and a C130 load of willpower.


Your tips, ideas or help are greatly appreciated and I will be updating this thread with my current progress, up to its maiden flight.


My project constraints

  • Around $800
  • Fixed wing
  • Must use APM
  • Must be able to carry a DSLR camera and/or FPV camera
  • Must have at least a 1 mile range for all radios
  • Project time limit of 2 months (08/05/2013)

My wish list

  • Gas powered (I have lots of chainsaw and weed-eater engines)
  • High stability (South Texas tends to have nasty winds)
  • High survivability (nothing makes a grown man cry more than broken balsa)
  • More flight time! (don't we all wish for it?)


I will be doing as much R&D as I can and I will be keeping you all updated.

Views: 3220

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

No doubt:, is your answer.

Jeff Taylor, company founder, is far the best solution. Maybe with a little higher budget.

Just talk with Jeff!

Ah, ok. Understand.

Another tip of airframe:

- Hugin (

- Telemaster 6' (

Good luck!

I also need help for upgrading parts or if i'm doing it wrong or right for aerial video productions/photo, here is my set up:

I have similar wants.

One way save some $$ on the budget is to built a kit yourself. This plane flies excellent and is very light for it's size which lends itself nicely to a large fuel tank and equipment. I have the smaller version the Seniorita with a Saito 56 running off a 12 oz fuel tank. At cruise speed of aprox 45 mph / half throttle it runs for 50 minutes. To be safe I'd plan 35 minutes. That's still a boat load of video. This Sig kit is very well designed and builds easy.

Reply to Discussion



Season Two of the Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest 
A list of all T3 contests is here. The current round, the Vertical Horizontal one, is here

© 2019   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service